Monthly Archives: February 2017

Bulgaria Public Radio bans pop music, earns more listeners with jazz and classics

Bulgaria’s public radio has been given a surprise boost in listeners after a copyright war limited the broadcaster to airing music recorded at least 70 years ago.

The station has been playing classical music and long-forgotten jazz and folk pieces for almost two months now after its management refused to pay increased annual royalty fees to the Musicautor performers’ rights organization.

The refusal has forced the radio to drop contemporary music and dig up older tunes from its dusty archive. Under European Union regulations, copyright lasts for 70 years after a composer’s death.

Instead of Rihanna and Justin Bieber, the crooning sounds of Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters now fill the airwaves.


NPR: A New Documentary Explores The Troubled, Brilliant Life Of Pianist Bill Evans

Bill Evans was a genius: The jazz world, which can be roiled by factions and jealousies, usually agrees on that. He was a composer and pianist with a light, lyrical touch that was once described as what you might hear at the gates of heaven. But like many geniuses, Evans died too young — in 1980, at the age of just 51, after years of cocaine and heroin addiction.

A new documentary by filmmaker Bruce Spiegel helps capture that genius with interviews of musicians, family members, and archival footage of Bill Evans himself.

Source: NPR

Miroslav Vitous – Ziljabu Nights: Live at Theater Gütersloh

(Deutsche Media Productions)

Bassist-composer Miroslav Vitous’s latest is a journey through structured music that sounds incredibly improvised. Ziljabu Nights: Live at Theater Gütersloh features Vitous and his band painting large musical murals before a live audience in Gütersloh, Germany. The other players on the productions are tenor saxophonist Gary Campbell, tenor and soprano saxophonist Robert Bonisolo, keyboard player Aydin Essen and drummer Roberto Gatto. The tunes, almost all originals by Vitous, seem to evolve in each of the compositions, with the band in almost telepathic connection with each other and the music. The recording closes with an interview conducted by Götz Buhler. The whole recording is a truly fascinating listening experience.

Click to listen to a clip of “Stella by Starlight Variations”:

Tracks: Ziljabu, Morning Lake, Ziljabe, Gloria’s Step Variations, Mira Bop, Stella by Starlight Variations, Interview with Miroslav Vitous.


Ron Boustead – Unlikely Valentine

(Art Rock Music)

Singer Ron Boustead offers his entertaining take on love stories of songs with this effort. Unlikely Valentine is a nice mix of original tunes and clever twists on some less-traveled standards. Boustead brings a humorous flavor to a number of the tunes on the mostly upbeat production. The ballads are equally nice, including a lovely duet with singer Fabiana Passoni. The recording is enhanced greatly by the producing and arranging talents of both, Bill Cunliffe and Mitchel Forman, each of whom handle the piano and organ duties on the respective tunes which they produced. The band also includes the talents of John Leftwich on bass, Jake Reed on drums, Pat Kelley on acoustic and electric guitars, Bob Sheppard on saxes and flutes, Bob McChesney on trombone and Ron Stout on flugelhorn. This is a thoroughly enjoyable musical excursion.

Click to listen to a clip of “Unlikely Valentine”:

Tracks: Unlikely Valentine, Love Potion #9, Coffee, I Won’t Scat, Til Now, Autumn Leaves, Love’s Carousel, Along Came Betty, I Love My Wife, Love Came on Stealthy Fingers .


Vocalist Al Jarreau Dies at 76

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau, who transcended genres over a 50-year career, died at a Los Angeles hospital Sunday, just days after announcing his retirement from touring because of exhaustion, his manager Joe Gordon confirmed.

The Milwaukee native won seven Grammys over the course of his half-century in music. His biggest single was 1981’s “We’re in This Love Together” from the album “Breakin’ Away.” Jarreau was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, “We Are the World,” and sang the theme to TV’s “Moonlighting.”

“We feel very fortunate to have worked with Al, one of the most distinctive and extraordinary vocalists in the music,” said Concord Records President John Burk in a statement. “He was truly a force of nature and a beautiful human being that will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by us all.”

Source: Quad City Times

The Baylor Project – The Journey

(Be A Light)

The Journey is exquisite debut of The Baylor Project. The husband-wife duo of drummer Marcus Baylor and vocalist Jean Baylor brings a wealth of experience from work with an array of artists, which serves this production incredibly well. The vocal delivery of Jean Baylor is impeccable. The arrangements are the tunes here, a mix of standards and soulful originals, is fresh and engaging. The musicianship here is equally stellar. Among the fantastic talents contributing to this effort are pianist and organist Shedrick Mitchell, pianist Allyn Johnson, percussionist Pablo Batista, guitarist Marvin Sewell, saxophonists Keith Loftis and Bob Mintzer, flugelhorn player Freddie Hendrix, trumpeter Kenyon Harrold, bassists Dezron Douglas, Chris Smith and Corcoran Holt, and harpist Brandee Younger. This is simply an outstanding recording .

Click to listen to a clip of “Our Love is Here To Stay”:

Tracks: Block Party, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Tell M A Story, Tenderly, Our Love Is Here To Stay, Again, Summertime, Voice of The Drum (Interlude), Afro Blue (Dream), Laugh and Move On, Journey .


Mike Casey – The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door

(Mike Casey)

With The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door, saxophonist Mike Casey makes an impressive debut. The recording puts you right in the room for a set that is brimming with the creative intensity that is enhanced by the presence of a live audience. There’s a gritty and raw improvisational feel in the performances of the band, which includes bassist Matt Dwonszyk and drummer Corey Garcia. Casey leads the tight-knit trio through a set which is comprised of adventurous originals and exploratory covers of tunes by John Coltrane, Kurt Weil, Jackie McLean and Ornette Coleman. Casey is a really impressive up and coming talent with a fantastic tone worth hearing.

Click to listen to a clip of “Dagobah”:

Tracks: Hydraulics, Turnaround, Dagobah, Heartbreak, Mack The Knife, Miles Mode, Little Melonae.